The Vanguard's Sacred Dictionary
Terms and Definitions
This is where you, the poor reader, are lost and confused about the different terms in fan fiction. Don't worry, personally speaking, I am pretty surprised about the use of fan fiction terms, too. This is where this handy book helps you (and me too!) Below are the definitions of fan fiction terms we use in this certain writing community and it doesn't necessarily apply to other sites around the interwebs. A lot of the definitions below are our own interpretation but there are some others where I straight didn't mess with the definitions that were given to me at all with the efiction script. That was either because I didn't know the term, or there was no better way to describe it. There are helpful links all over the place to help you better understand the terms which lead to mainly wikipedia pages, so they're all safe. I'm sure you visit wikipedia on a daily basis anyways. I know I do. Anyways, whenever you come upon some abbreviation you don't understand, this is where you would come to look it up. So take a gander down below, and be prepared to see a lot of my "personal" opinions.
Warning Master List
What do all the warnings mean?
Warnings are what will warn readers of the content in the author's story. This enables a reader to understand that what they're reading will hold such-and-such so they're not startled about anything later on. SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! There is no need to accuse the author of ever writing something that offends you after stumbling upon something that is inappropriate because of the warnings in place. If you read something you do not agree with, that was due to your own discretion. This is why warnings are in place here because there are some pretty sensitive people around the interwebs that get butthurt easily over the smallest things. Warning: I may have offended people with that last sentence. Do I care? No. Not really. Here are the terms below, so educate yourself:
Abuse: This could include physical, mental, emotional, or alcohol abuse. Some people might not be comfortable reading a story involving these without having some sort of warning before hand, and I really don't feel as though "violence" covers that well enough.
Credit for this definition goes to Dark_wing19. Thank you!
Adult Situations: This warning usually means there's matured-themed sexual encounters, and just has a mature theme to it.
BDSM & Fetish: Stands for Bondage/Sado Maso. Also use this for Master/slave, which is usually shortened with MS. Generally use it for everything that is considered "sexually not normal" if you are unsure!
Book, Comic/Manga, Movie/Anime, TV-Show/Anime, Game: Personally, I don't know the difference so you can take this definition from somewhere else--You don't have to give certain information if it does not apply to your story. It is for stories, where for example the book is quite different from the movie, and you would like to tell your reader which one you used for your story. Do not use this, if your story is based upon both, or if there is really not much of a difference. This won't have any effect on where your story is shown.
Character Death: Pretty self-explanatory but this warning means there's character deaths in here, and it's probably a spoiler alert, too.
Citrus: A 'light' romantic interlude with hand-holding, cuddling, kissing, etc.
Crude Humor: Want to be vulgar? Want to be hilarious at the same time? Well, this warning claims that there is some of that in their story and personally speaking, this is probably the only other warning I use when I write. Crude humor involves people saying tasteless, indecent jokes or dialogue.
Descriptive Blanks: I believe this would only be used in reader-inserts. Much like Name Blanks, Descriptive Blanks are used to "describe" your features. As the main character in the story, the character "you" fills in the blanks with "your" hair style, eye color, skin color and etc.
Drugs: When there's any drug use (I don't think the use of alcohol or cigarettes count), you use this to warn the readers of it in your story. It's nice if you warn them in case they don't condone the use of drug abuse in any kind of story, it's kind of respectful to. Personally, I would be thankful.
Extreme Violence: When there's chainsawing bodies in half, or decapitation, I would say it's safe to use this kind of warning about it.
Incest: Family love, you guys. This warning means there is a relationship between family members in the story. If this is not your thing, you would be wise to steer away and read something else.
Language: If you know Dottie, then you know she has to use this warning a lot in the things she writes. No, I'm kidding. Okay, when you use constant curse words, it's okay to use this warning and if you don't like when people curse, stay away from the story.
Lemon: Or I like to call it smut. This warning means there's a sex scene inside, and if you're not up to reading it, then you probably shouldn't. Lemons can get pretty graphic and detailed, so consider this caution carefully.
Lime: A simple explanation would be "passionate foreplay that "fades to black" before it gets too graphic."
Lyrics: Usually coupled with a song-fic, there's lyrics in the story you're about to read! Other times, the lyrics made be original and this would also be acceptable to use. Again, if anybody is to use a song in their work, proper credit for the song and song-writer should be displayed.
Male Pregnancy: That means a dude gets pregnant. Some people don't like to read it.
Mild Adult Situations: Let's say, without the use of sex in it but more mature-like, I would call that a mild adult situation. I guess it's just another way of perhaps saying Lime.
Mild Violence: Perhaps used in the more comical sense of smacking someone over the head for messing up, or how Yusuke and Kuwabara like to fight on a daily basis. I take this term in the most light-hearted way I can because usually Extreme Violence, and Violence cover the other extremities. So think Three Stooges in the sense of mild violence, and not OFF WITH THEIR HEADS type.
Name Blanks: In most, if not all, reader-insert stories, this involves the character's name to be usually left in a blank and replaced with "you" in terms of telling the actual story. So a sample writing of an example would be, "(_____)! I can't believe you just said that!" Your best friend blushed fifty different shades of red as you laughed in the background. This usually goes hand-in-hand with descriptive blanks.
No Warning: Obviously you use that when you don't need a warning. I had to add it because the script wants you to add one.
OOC: Out of Character. If you write a character so differently from the original and do that on purpose, you might want to give a warning. Some people don't like to read it. This does not apply to Slash-Writers and such, because the Genre itself gives the impression that some heterosexual characters might behave differently.
Rape: Pretty self-explanatory. This means the story you are about to read contains rape. If this is not your flavor, it's best you skip whatever story you're about to read. Granted, a lot of people are personally offended by this word, even though it might not refer to them.
Self-Harm: Is the act of deliberately hurting one-self with or without the intent of suicide. This has been added since a member of the community felt it was strong enough to warrant its own definition and we agreed. Please mark and rate your chapters accordingly if any of your characters participate in any self-harm activities.
Slash: Refers to the male/male relationship, and it's more or less based around sex without a plot. For people who don't write smut, this is okay also because it still involves two males in a relationship.
Spoilers: Stories with this warning means that what you are about to read may possibly contain spoilers in its contents. If you do NOT want things to be ruined for you, it's best if you avoid stories with this warning in them!
Thank you Dark_wing19 for the suggestion!
Underage Sex: Personally, I would not allow underaged sex in anything I write, and I try to steer clear of this myself. That being said, we do not condone underaged sex and do not allow it within our archives. However, as a definition, you're welcome to continue reading. This is taken from elsewhere because I didn't know what else to say--"I think you only need that when an adult has sex with an underaged person. If you feel like adding it, when two 16-year-old make out, it is your choice. As this is a world-wide site, we include world-wide law out of decency. I believe the highest age someone has to be to have legally sex is 18 (in the USA). We use that age as the line. In that case an adult has to be over 21, BTW. We will not punish you, if you stand by the law of the country you live in."
Violence: Unlike mild violence and extreme violence, this sits in between. It won't be too gory to read, but it's not a simple smack on the head, either. This perhaps has somebody getting a black eye from a punch in the face, or even a broken bone from falling out a window after being thrown through it. Like I said before, nothing too graphic.
Yaoi: The Japanese term for this means male/male relationships and usually applies to the anime/manga genre. This usually means the story is based around the love of two males and would most likely have sex scenes revolving around this. On some occasions, this may not.
Yuri: The Japanese term for this means female/female relationships. Like yaoi, this means the story is based around two female lovers and would probably involve sex. Again, on occasion, it may just focus on the relationship aspect of a yuri couple.
Story Type Master-List
What's a Story Type? A Story Type explains what elements are in the story. Unlike genres, even though there may be some types that share the same name with genres, this is a more organized way of sorting what your story is. Whether it's a novel, or drabble or even a one-shot that is what a story type means. It can be a prequel, sequel or a poem as more examples. Story Types further analyze fan fiction or original work into groups. Below are definitions from this site on what story type terms we use.
Alternate Universe: This story type means the plot takes place in another alternate universe, or reality. Often abbreviated as AU and it consists of changing accurate facts of the canon (canon means official) universe or perhaps even changing history. This is also a genre.
Collection: This is a very broad term in use of fan fiction. It can either mean that the fanfic involves a collection of small stories from one universe, or many other universes. The chapters are usually one-shots and two-shots, and this may also refer to being called a booklet.
Crack Fic: This story type says that the fanfic you're about to read is random, nonsensical and well, why do you think it's called a Crack Fic? This, too, has a very broad definition as a lot of stories that people may come up with can be considered as "crack" because they are either full of inside jokes only the author and a friend may have, or have an "ridiculously implausible premises". In short, "you must have been on crack when you wrote this."
CYOA: Please see the definition for CYOA below.
Death Fic: This story type, much like a warning, has death inside. It probably more or less focuses on the death scene of a person, or how the person dies to the actual funeral and people dealing with the death of a main character. I would imagine it'd be very depressing.
Drabble: There are arguments on what a drabble is, and I've actually looked it up before. It's described as a one-shot with one-hundred written words exactly. But people usually ignore this rule and write up short stories and submit as a drabble but the correct story type to use with 300 words or less would be Flash Fic (defined below).
Essay: A definition is exactly what you know it as and the story type the fanfic is under is going to be an essay. I don't know about you, but I'm not really too keen on reading essays.
Ficlet: I would have guessed that a ficlet was bigger than a drabble, but no. Supposedly, a ficlet is a tiny little fanfic with less than 100 words. Weird, right? But again, like the drabble story type, word limit is ignored and sometimes perceived (as I had) as a story type that's bigger than a drabble.
Flash Fic: Very much like a drabble and a ficlet, a flash fic is a very short story but longer than a drabble and a ficlet. Go figure. It's acceptable length is around 300 or less words.
General: When any other story type doesn't apply, I suppose it'll be okay to use this one. I honestly wouldn't know what else to use it with.
Holiday: Stories with this story type means they're just holiday-esque stories.
Thank you, Dark_wing19 for the suggestion!
Non-Smut: Stories defined as non-smut are meant to be make it easier for you guys, the readers, to read content on our archive in the public and without having to worry about anyone reading over your shoulder. As we cannot utilize a "safe mode" function, this is the closest we can get!
Novel: This was defined as telling a long ass story with a butt load of characters and conflicts. The plot is generally revealed as the story goes on and a whole bunch of other stuff--I'm sure you've read a novel before.
One-Shot: Regardless of word size, this means that a chapter is a complete story. Sometimes this comes along with a two-shot which means that there's two chapters that wrap up as a story, or the first half of a story is continued in the second half of the two-shot after a couple of chaptered one-shots in between. As you can imagine, the two-shots work best with a collection, or booklet.
Original Fan Fiction: This is work created purely by the author. In no means is it to be considered fanfiction because it wasn't based off an existing piece of work.
Play: This story type is just like a written script.
Poem: Exactly what it is, and it would usually go around in original fanfiction because I would assume it to be the original work of the author.
Prequel: This story type is fan fiction usually told before the events of a main story.
Prologue: This is usually an opening to a story, a preface. Personally, I happen to use these a lot as they may explain the situation before getting really into the first chapter and confusing a lot of people.
PWP: See below for the definition of this in Genre.
Reader-Insert: The reader, you, is in the story.
Self-Insert: This means that the author put themselves into the story.
Sequel: A continuation of an ended series. I'm sure you know what this is because you've at least seen the Star Wars movies or Lord of the Rings. The following movies? Yeah, those would be sequels. Books have a lot of sequels, too.
What do all the genre mean?
Genre has to do with what type the story is; it just puts a story into a category just to keep everything nice and neat. If you want to learn more about what a genre is, you can read the rest of the definition here.
Action/Adventure: Imagine being out on the high seas with Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, or fighting along side Marcus Fenix from Gears of War—that would be adventure and that would be action. Basically probably anything set fast-paced and life-threatening.
Alt: Means an Alternative Universe/Alternate Reality fanfic. Also can be abbreviated as AU. This is the genre that features the “What-Ifs” in fanfiction. So you'll probably see a lot of OOCness from the characters you've come to love. And if in case you're wondering what OOC means, it's out of character.
Angst: Sometimes you'll come across it simply as A, which in my opinion is stupid because not everyone is going to understand this—anyways, angst just means this fanfiction may have an emotional and distressing time with their situations, or what have you. I've seen a lot of angst-y Harry Potter fanfics if you need an example.
Comedy: Well, this is something I like to think I excel in! A Comedy Fic is something that is generally written with the intention of bringing about laughs, humor to any situation, and silliness. I guess satirical works also fit in this category and I'm not about to explain what that is. Please use a dictionary.
Crossover: Say your story has Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho staring down Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. Yes. This is a crossover fic. It just means you take characters from one "universe" and you stick them in another.
CYOA: Create your own adventure and this does not mean it usually involves "Reader-insert fics". However, they're usually second-perspectives, and CYOAs have their very unique feature of their stories as they have choices readers can choose from at the end of every chapter. They usually say--"Go to page 8 to defeat the dragon" or "Go to page 9 to run away." as a very mild example. THIS is what a CYOA means.
Dark: Think the opposite of a comedy. A dark fanfic is probably filled with angst, betrayal, death, and an overall bad feeling. I've read that it doesn't necessarily have to end badly, though. Which is strange but whatever.
Drama: You know that one kid in school that was really dramatic, that you'd roll your eyes every time they spoke? Yeah, you were being dramatic too; a dramatic fanfic is probably the same thing because I catch myself rolling my eyes at a lot of fanfics.
Epic: A freaking long ass story--it's drawn out and yeah. Here is something taken from another definition; "An Epic usually tells the tale of a lot of different people and has a whole lot of separate story-lines."
Erotic: A fic that would usually spark sexual feelings meant to arouse.
Essay: Who never wrote an essay in high school? Honestly? You should know what this is, but in case you don't, it's a short literary composition on a single subject, usually presenting the personal view of the author.
Fantasy: A fanfic involving magical uses and the supernatural. Think dragons, and fairies and far off places. This would usually take place in an imaginary world with extraordinary things and people in it.
General: I never really understood this term as what general meant, but I guess you use it when the other genres aren't there.
H/C: Stands for Hurt and Comfort. Sounds sadistic. But honestly, it's when a character is hurt, and another character takes care of them. And it usually ends in sex.
Hope: Honestly, I've never seen a "Hope" fanfic, and frankly, I wouldn't know how to describe it. If anybody knows, please educate me because I'm curious about this, too.
Horror: We've all seen those slasher films, scary movies and certain books that keep you on the edge of your seat that when you're finished with them, you don't want to go to sleep in fear of something out to get you. This is what horror would be.
MSTing: Yeah, never really had a use for this one, either. So here's a definition by Wikipedia: --is a method of mocking a show in the style of the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000 and, in particular, is a form of fan fiction in which writers mock other works by inserting humorous comments, called "riffs", into the flow of dialogue and events. If you're curious about this, you can read the rest here.
Musical: Have you ever seen High School Musical? Or even Mary Poppins? Musicals are stories that make characters randomly break out into song, and honestly, thank God, but I've never seen them around. And I'm sure they're around otherwise no one would need this genre.
Mystery: Who doesn't know what a mystery is? A good "whodunit" compels readers to continue reading just to see if their guess on who the guilty party was correct; except for me, I always blame the butler and I always will. Anyways, a mystery involves components of the unknown, secrets and probably even tragedy. Detective stories are a good example of mystery fics. Just think Sherlock Holmes, my dear Watson.
OF: I don't know who comes up with these terms, I really don't. Because I swear this is a hip-hop band from the 90's. Uh, OF stands for Original Flavor/Original Flavoring. Sounds weird, I know. But it kind of makes sense in a way. It's when the author tries to stick as close to the universe as possible, focusing on the main characters and not adding in any ocs of their own. There are 2 sub-classes within this group--continuations, which try and chronicle events after the series end, and timeless--which can fit into the existing stories.
Original: Pretty simple, it just means works created by the author without the influence of something in existence. It's something the author owns which, if found on another site, would be a clear sign of plagiarize if the original author did not post it there. These would include original characters, and whatnot.
Parody:Basically meaning its purpose is to mock, or make fun of an original work. Satirical goes here, too. Here, take an actual definition; a humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation of a person, event, or serious work of literature designed to ridicule in nonsensical fashion or to criticize by clever duplication.
PWP: Now, people can argue what the heck this means but I don't care either way. It can stand for Porn without Plot or Plot, what plot? and my favorite, Poorly Written Porn. Porn without plot is exactly what it sounds like; you can enter the reader just starting into a lemon. Plot, what plot? Is probably more suited for a crackfic but can involve sex scenes without a reason, too, Poorly Written Porn is hilarious and shouldn't be written, but you know, I need something funny to read when I'm feeling down.
Reader-Insert: This would also fall under warnings, but I've also decided to add this as a genre for further organizing. This means the reader is part of the story and usually holds descriptive blanks. The main character is "you" and everything in the fic usually involves a plot around something that is affecting the reader, "you".
Romance: Everyone has to know what romance is. You've all read those Twilight books, right? Don't forget your personal favorite, Fifty Shades of Grey. But yes, this means the fanfic is romantic, and probably filled with lots of gushy scenes and people kissing. Eww, right? Don't worry, I don't think it'll have too much graphic scenes, either.
Round Robin: This is a term used when two or more authors are involved in this on-going fic. Usually done by author by chapter, and anyone can participate.
Sci-Fi: Science Fiction. Any fanfic that has a ufo in it is probably a sci-fi fic. Apparently it's such a broad term, so here's the actual definition here if you really want to know. But in fanfic terms, I imagine it to be quite spacey, no pun intended.
Scripted Format: Personally, I think it's a fun way of writing. But think of this as reading an actor's script. It's not really in story format, but it still conveys the same message across. Also, think one-liner rping.
Self-Insert: This means the author has put themselves into the story. There's a lot of opinions about self-insert ranging from an inflated ego to poorly done work with Mary Sues, but personally--I like them. They're fun to read and they're fun to write.
Slash: Slash is boy love. It features two characters that are men that are in love with each other and it usually ends in sex, too. There is another term for boy love, but personally, I see using Slash when you're dealing with actual people--but not people who are cartoons, ya'know? Yaoi would be the term in Japanese for boy love and I see fit to use Yaoi in work that I would write with anime characters in it. And then Slash for everything else. Does that make sense?
Songfics: This just means that you add lyrics to your story. But remember to not forget to add the copyright info about the song.
Supernatural/Paranormal: Pretty simple, yo. This genre just means the stories features with ghosts, psychics, spirits and whatnot.
Thriller: No, not the Michael Jackson song. This term in fanfiction means that this has you on the edge of your seat, and you're just dying to see what happens. Usually people add cliff-hangers at the end of the chapter just to keep the suspense going.
Tragedy: This term in fanfiction usually has someone dying in tragic way, or perhaps ironically. It probably chronicles some poor sap's downfall through his life. Yeah, what a downer.
WAFF: Warm and Fuzzy Feelings. I guess it would be the equivalent to Fluff, which would be a warning. Honestly, I don't know how Fluff is a warning but I guess if you don't like hand-holding and innocent kissing, you're probably a nun and shouldn't be looking at romantic-based fan fiction in the first place.
WWYFF: "Who would you fall for"; "where text is occasionally broken up by possible reactions from the readers. Their responses correlate with a specific result, and are tallied up at the end, where they're direct towards the result they'd be most suited for. The majority of these results are guys who appear throughout the story, and include additional scenes centered around them, thus the name "Who Would You Fall For"."
Requested and defined by: Murder-chan
Yaoi: is the Japanese term for male love. See Slash above.
Yuri: Is the Japanese term for female love. I don't really know the term for female love, other than outright calling it a lesbian fanfic. But this is the Japanese term for a fanfic that has two women as the love interests in the story.